Grace for the Weary
We are weary, God.
Not just of the political insanity that surrounds us in these days as we approach November 8th — though there is that.
Not just of the constant barrage of disheartening news of email leaks and presidential candidate sexual exploits and rampant racism and seeming hopelessness for the future of our country’s leadership — though there is that.
Not just of the heart wrenching images of children being killed in Aleppo, even as the brave white helmets risk their lives to try to save them in the hellish aftermath of raining barrel bombs in Syria — though absolutely, there is that.
Not just of things closer to home — concerns over our children and the world they are growing up in, the never-ending exhaustion of long work days and short, sleepless, nightmare nights, and the weight of heavy decisions that bear down upon us in our day-in-and-day-out journeys through this life — though there is that.
It isn’t one thing, God. It is the culmination.
A brief rain shower on a mountainside creates little noticeable change. It is the aggregate of many rain showers that results in erosion.
The same is for us, God. The steady drip, drip, drip begins to erode our faith. And our hope. We are weary. But you know that about us. I read a simple, simple sentence this week in John Frame’s Systematic Theology. It settled deep in my mind upon reading it — and I’ve returned to it more than once in the past few days: “Grace, therefore, is utterly personal.” (Frame, pg. 244)
He was referring to the truth that the grace Israel received from You, God, had absolutely nothing to do with her righteousness. No, the grace You showered upon her was because You were her covenant Lord.
And You are our covenant Lord; we who are Christ-followers. We, who have been bought with the costly price of the death of Your Son. We, who you have adopted as co-heirs with that same Son.
We, whom you love. And in that, we find renewed hope.
We find renewed hope, precisely because Your grace is so very personal. In Your sovereignty, You know what we need better than we do ourselves. You see and know and act. You know we are weary. You know that truly, the churn that surrounds all of our days sometimes bring us to our knees. Which is not a bad thing, if on our knees, we are seeking You. But sometimes are knees buckle and we find ourselves too weary to lift our heads.
But You, oh God, are the lifter of our heads. You are the shield about us. Even in the chaos. You are our glory. (Psalm 3:3) It is as we sang at church Sunday morning:
Nations rise and nations fall,
but God is the Lord above them all
The whole earth is filled with Your glory
The heavens declaring Your praise
The nations are filled with Your wonder
Holy are You Lord, Holy are You Lord
(From Gateway Worship)
… during this week of yet another presidential debate, that has the potential of being another shameful debacle.
… on this night of continued tensions off the shore of Yemen, and in Syria, and devastation in Haiti, and the list is long. …
... on this Sunday evening (as I write this) before yet another long week of work and parenting … on this night when we will each return to our beds and try to exercise the faith to close our eyes and rest, and trust that You do not slumber (Psalm 121:3)
… on this eve of the unknown, because every day holds unknown joys and sorrows.
We say this to You:
We need your very personal grace.
I need your very personal grace.
Grace that knows how to calm our anxious hearts, and settle the fears that wrap our souls in grey, and grace that knows how to give rest to our weariness.
Grace that knows how to discipline us even though discipline can be painful. Grace that knows how to ignite joy in us when we at one time feared that we may never know joy again. Grace that knows how to call us to You, as our only hope. That beckons us to cling to you — and grace to give us the ability to do what you call us to do. To parent. To work hard. To care deeply, for the hurting.
To pursue You.
And to know that You, giver of grace, will give us a very personal, intimate grace that will seep into the very fabric of our souls so that we know who You are — and Whose we are.
And, in that, we know hope. Holy are You, Lord.